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Dead Until Dark

Dead Until Dark  - Charlaine Harris The first book of The Southern Vampire Mysteries – or The Sookie Stackhouse Novels if you like, is a brilliant opening for what I hope to be a very good series. It starts off with a bam, introducing a telepathic waitress, a world inhabited by vampires and some brutal murders.Sookie Stackhouse isn’t like every other girl you meet. She does look like one, but she isn’t. Sookie can read minds, which at times can make her unpopular. That’s why she still lives with her grandma, not a suitable man.However, when Bill Compton, walks into Merlotte’s, the bar Sookie works at, her life changes drastically. Bill is a vampire who is trying to mainstream with the humans. Just right after their first meeting, Sookie is tested when she saves Bill’s life from some “drainers”, humans who steal blood from vampires for own personal gain. The day after, Bill saves Sookie from being killed by the same drainers, and just the morning after, the drainers are found dead in their camping wagon with a tornado as official cause of death.Just about the time that Bill arrives in Bon Temps, the small town in which the plot evolves, several murders happen. Bill automatically becomes a suspect, much because many of the bodies have fang marks on various places on their bodies, however, the fang marks are old, and none of the victims are drained. Bill, who at this point, has begun his romantic relationship with Sookie, swears to her that he hasn’t done it, and she believes him, as she is under the belief that not all vampires are bad. Sookie’s brother Jason has a romantic link with two of the victims, and the police in Bon Temps suspect him as the killer.Sookie asks Bill to take her to the vampire bar, Fangtasia, to ask some questions about the murders in Bon Temps. The bar is owned by a vampire from the Viking ages, called Eric Northman, he is the vampire sheriff, and is much older and much more powerful than Bill. Sookie doesn’t get any answers from the vampires in the bar, but she manages to warn them about a raid that is going on, with a police officer that has dressed up as a part of the vampire fans.Back in Bon Temps, Sookie returns home after a date with Sam Merlotte, her boss, to find her grandmother murdered brutally in the kitchen. Sam and Bill both helps Sookie cope with this, but her brother only make matters worse by slapping her, and implying that it is Sookie’s fault that their grandmother was killed.After the funeral, Eric calls Sookie over to Fangtasia again, he has realized that Sookie’s telepathy can be useful, directs her to determine the identity of a human or vampire who has stolen money from Fangtasia. Sookie identifies a vampire named Long Shadow, who happens to be Eric’s partner. It ends with a confrontation that nearly kills Sookie, but Eric stumbles in to save the day, by staking Long Shadow just as he attacks her. Bill is concerned over Eric’s power over him and Sookie, and decides to travel to New Orleans to raise his position within the vampire power system. He asks Bubba, a vampire of whom the transformation went bad with, to look after Sookie while Bill is gone. Sookie herself, travels to Merlotte to meet her brother, but discovers that he was never there, and ends up going home with a stray dog in her back seat. When she wakes up in the morning, she realizes that Sam is a shape shifter, as he lays naked in her bed, where the dog was supposed to be.Just that night, Sookie comes home, and hear sounds on the upper floor. She quickly gets out of the house to find Bubba, but he has been poisoned by bad blood, and is fast asleep in the forest. She runs in the general direction of Bill’s house, with someone after her, and ends up in a fight in the cemetery. She discovers that the town murderer is her brother’s good friend, Rene Lenier. He almost kills Sookie, but she fights back. She wakes up in the hospital, to find Bill by her side, telling her that he has become his area’s investigator, working under Eric.Personal ThoughtsI found the start of the book a bit slow. It was just getting to know the characters, which I find deadly boring, so I put it down for about half a year before I decided to finish it. Only to discover that I really enjoyed it, it is an excellent book if you’re tired of all the Young Adult book series that’s only focused on how absolutely breathtaking it is to kiss a vampire. This book explores more of the sexual aspects about vampires, and it’s more describing when it comes to the murders in Bon Temps.The thing about Dead Until Dark that I enjoyed the most, was the vampires. Of course, it is a vampire novel, the vampires are to be enjoyed, but I enjoyed the fact that they are so very much alike the vampires from old times, like Dracula. However, they still have their own traits, which show that the author tries to make the vampires a bit more human like than the Dracula vampires are. It’s Bill we get to know the most throughout the book, and I kind of enjoy him as a character, kind of not. I think that he is too over protective when it comes to Sookie, and that she needs to face some dangers, however, I like his way of showing other vampires that Sookie is his, and that none of them are allowed to touch her. I also have to talk a bit about Eric. Eric is described as being sex on legs (or something along that line), and a Viking. Eric is the kind of bad ass vampire that makes teenage girls dream about him at night, but denying it in daytime.All in all, I recommend this book, and I think that it is a good book, despite the fact that I found the beginning a bit slow.